Assistant Professor

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University

Founder and Director of the Post-Conflict Cities Lab

Hiba Bou Akar is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Her research focuses on planning in conflict and post-conflict cities, the question of urban violence, and the role of religious political organizations in the making of cities. She is also the founder and director of the Post-Conflict Cities Lab at Columbia University. The lab focuses on the studies of post-conflict urban planning and aims to develop methodological, empirical, and theoretical approaches to planning in contested spaces. Bou Akar’s award-winning book, For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers (Stanford University Press, 2018), examines how Beirut’s post-civil war peripheries have been transformed through multiple planning exercises into contested frontiers that are mired in new forms of conflict. Her first co-edited book, Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines (2011), explored Beirut’s segregated geographies. Bou Akar received her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut, and a Master in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT. She has also worked as an architect and planner and as a research consultant with local NGOs and international UN organizations in the Middle East.